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Program connects refugees with fresh produce

Program connects refugees with fresh produce

Refugee Connections Spokane is a program that helps new and former refugees settle into the community. The Refugees' Harvest Project is one of the volunteer activities that locals can take part in.

"Refugees who come from farming cultures want to get out and do what they know how to do so well," Executive Director of Refugee Connections Spokane said.

It started back in 2011 by Nou Vang, a local refugee at the time. She watched fruit just falling on the ground and rotting. Vang knew there was a need for fresh produce within the local refugee community.

Instead of letting it go to waste, she thought she could pick the unwanted fruit while simultaneously cleaning Spokane yards.

Today, the project is growing rapidly. Volunteers collect thousands of pounds of produce to distribute for free in the East Central Neighborhood.

"There are people who can't afford to buy fresh produce or the store is too far to get to," Hale said.

DNR bans all outdoor burning

DNR bans all outdoor burning

The Washington Department of Natural Resources has expanded the current statewide burn ban to cover all outdoor burning on DNR-protected lands, with no exceptions.

“All indicators are that we'll continue to have high heat, low humidity and storm systems with winds and lightning. That means huge potential for wildfires,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “We need to do everything we can to minimize danger to people, homes and habitat.”

Hot and dry conditions since early summer have caused very high fire hazard conditions throughout the state. These conditions have caused fires to spread rapidly and challenged firefighting efforts. More than $91 million has been spent so far battling wildfires in 2014, and more than 350,000 acres have burned across the state. There are many weeks to go in this year’s fire season, which usually runs into October.

Best of Spokane Survey

Best of Spokane Survey

Portland newspaper The Oregonian is asking for help from the Lilac City, asking residents what they love best about their city.

The article's author predicts plenty of Oregon residents will be headed up here when the Portland State Vikings and Oregon Ducks play back-to-back football games against the Washington State Cougars on September 13 and 20.

To take the survey you don't have to register or submit any personal information. The results will be published on the newspaper's website and in the paper itself between August 20 and 24.

You can find the survey on the Oregon Live website here.

Remembering Robin Williams

Remembering Robin Williams

About three months after my heart attack. I was asked the go and introduce Robin Williams at the Fox when he came to town. I got there an hour early because I wanted to make sure that everything went well. After meeting David Steinberg he asked if I would you like to meet Robin. Of course, I said.

We went to Robin Williams room made introductions, some small talk. I told him that I had spent time growing up in Denver, Colorado and also in Boulder, where the Mork and Mindy house was. He explained how the owner of the house had sued the production company  several times never really winning because as the show became so popular. People come by it at all hours screaming for Mork or Mindy to come out.

I talked about how the food in his room was heart healthy and he said he had open heart surgery sometime before that and was trying to eat healthy. I said I had a heart attack and I died and he immediately shot back " show off !".

David said let's go back to my room and go over  the script .

Coeur d'Alene police need help locating missing man

Coeur d'Alene police need help locating missing man

Coeur d'Alene Police are seeking the public's help in finding a man reported missing on August 8.

Christopher Towles was reported missing at 1 p.m. last Friday by his mother, who said he failed to show up for work, which was unusual for him. His roommate said that his roommate said he was last seen last Wednesday morning.

The roommate didn't know where he was but had information that his vehicle had broken down in Spokane.

On Sunday Towles' vehicle was found and recovered by the Spokane Police Department in a parking lot near the intersection of Francis and Nevada.

Since his disappearance he has not had any contact with his friends or family and is considered endangered due to his mental state.

"You have a lot of family who love you and we'd like you back home and in one piece," said his father Hugh Towles. "You can call me call the police department call anyone in your family. We're here for you and we're willing to help you."

If anyone has any information on his whereabouts you're asked to contact the Coeur d'Alene Police Department at 208-769-2320.

City leaders ask for public's help to combat graffiti

City leaders ask for public's help to combat graffiti

Spokane city leaders are asking for your help fighting graffiti all you need is your smart phone.

The city is hoping this new system empowers people to take a little pride and ownership in their city by simply using the camera on your smart phone to report graffiti and have an actual hand in fighting crime and cleaning up the streets.

Police and city planners have something called the 'Broken Window' theory. Simply put, if someone throws a rock through a window and you don't fix it chances are there will be another broken window soon.

The same goes for graffiti and the city wants to tackle these trouble areas in order to deter future tagging.

On Monday Spokane introduced a new way for reporting graffiti by uploading a picture with location and notes about the graffiti and code enforcement will address the issue.

"It's really part of a larger effort in our community to make it cleaner and safer whether you are in a neighborhood or in a business community to really make that clean and safe and to deter the other type of activities that could come along with graffiti," Heather Trautman said.

Ale Trail celebrates success with expansion

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: visit 12 breweries across the Inland Northwest and drink a beer at each one.

It's all part of the newly expanded Inland Northwest Ale Trail which has expanded to 27 destinations ranging from Yakima to Clarkston.

"It's an up and coming booming industry, especially in Spokane," says No-Li Brewhouse Executive-Chef Branden Moreau. "We want to build this to be a premier craft beer destination in the Pacific Northwest."

Will Spear of the Ramblin' Road Craft Brewery adds the Ale Trail has been a huge boost to business.

"The Ale Trail has been huge for Spokane Breweries. Probably every day that we're open, 40% of the customers that are here have their Ale Trail map and they're asking for their stamp and they're saying where should we go next," says Spear.

The prize for collecting 12 stamps is a 16 mini-growler called a grunt.

For more information on the ale trail visit www.inlandnwaletrail.com